TOPIC FOLK CLUB Newsletter No 52, April/May 2006
Greetings: and welcome to the late April-early May Newsletter.
April 27 Steve Ashley.
A singer-songwriter of enormous experience, who has played solo and/or with some of the best folk musicians in the country for over 30 years. One of the founders of folk-rock, he was lead singer for the original Albion Band; and subsequently went on to front his own bands. There may or may not be a Featured support act this evening: an astonishingly good young band from Wales called Ember, who are touring in the area, requested and have been offered the slot: but my absence in the week they made the request may mean I have missed them.
May 4 John Conolly.
All the way from Grimsby, John Conolly is the real author of the much-covered “traditional” song Fiddler’s Green. But this is but one of his many wonderful and evocative songs of the sea, the coast, fishing, trawling: including The Punch and Judy Man. Featured support from Vince Jerrison and Nickie Willis, a duo from the Skipton area performing (mostly) traditional songs. Nickie in particular specialises in Scottish songs, with Vince providing the accompaniment.
May 11 Singers and Musicians.
Optional theme: Air. This completes the tour of the elements. Do come and have a sing: we do our best to fit everyone in, but the April S&M night had no fewer than five quality bands turning up, plus about eight individual performers, so we can’t promise everyone will get a sustained bite at the performance cherry.
May 18 Bernard Carney.
A lovely man from Australia, with a repertoire of self-written songs about the Australian outback, contemporary life, and everything else. A real crafter of songs, Bernard is also an accomplished guitarist, and a born entertainer (much on demand for after-dinner entertainment on the conference circuit). This should be a very enjoyable evening. Featured Support comes from a Leeds-based three-piece multi-instrumental band Mulberry Blue, who have impressed us at a couple of recent S&M nights.
May 25 Pete Abbott.
A prominent member of John Wright’s touring band, and a fine singer-songwriter in his own right (John Wright includes some of Pete’s songs in his repertoire). Pete has an impressive list of fellow artists who provide the most impressive testimonials: not just John Wright, but also Ken Nicol and Anthony John Clarke. Haunting ballads and a quiet, precise guitar accompaniment. Featured Support comes from Bandersnatch, a six- (or five-) piece band from over the Pennines, with rich clear harmonies and a variety of instruments; one member of whom played piano on Pete Abbott’s CD.
June 1 Pete Smith and John Buckley.
Two acoustic guitarists who combine a variety of styles: classical, jazz, blues, folk, ragtime, nylon/steel strings to provide a richness of sound that, according to critics, can outdo a complete orchestra. Well, something like that. Though their musical performance includes no songs or lyrics, they make up for this with hilarious between-tunes banter. Featured Support slot available as we go to press - also for June 22 and 29, and July 6 and 27.
JUNE also features a singaround on the general theme of Freedom; CrossCurrent, a brilliant five-piece band of recent graduates from Newcastle’s Folk Music degree (with FS from Northern Man Clive Leyland); Scottish singer-songwriter Robin Laing who I don’t think has visited the Topic before, and our very own Bluesman extraordinaire Roger Sutcliffe.
JULY is a month when some of our fellow local clubs batten down for the summer: but a packed Topic programme includes: Battlefield Band stalwart Alistair Russell, back on the gigging circuit; The Amazing Mr Smith for musicianship combined with zany humour (with FS from Ed McGurk), a double header of up-and-coming young acts Entropy and Robin and Ben, and finally that most energetic of performers; and one of the best politico-social contemporary songwriters in the business, Robb Johnson.
You can read all about the upcoming programme in Tykes, on the internet www.topic-folk-club.org.uk ,or in future issues of this newsletter.
Preparations are underway for the 50th Anniversary Season, a star-studded and exciting programme of real talent that we hope will regularly challenge the capacity of our new venue.
In recognition of this, for gigs from September onwards, tickets for all concerts will be available in advance on clubnights from dates to be advertised on the website and in the Newsletter. Members will have a few weeks’ priority. The prices for some concerts will have to be increased to cover the artistes fees (prices will be published in advance): but in saying that, the overwhelming majority of our artistes have been extremely generous in agreeing to minimum guarantees well below their normal fee.
50th anniversary T-shirts are being designed even as I write, and will be available in time for the Festival season.
As always, please let me know by return if you no longer wish to receive this Newsletter, and your name will be permanently deleted from my files.
See you all some Thursday at the C ock and Bottle at one of the above events. 8.30 start. Be there by then if you want to perform a floor spot, which are still available every night even where there is a Featured Support artist booked. No smoking in the club room.
Topic Newsletter Editor
Topic Newsletter No 52: April/May 2006